Archived Story

Smithsonian exhibit a big win

Published 6:00am Saturday, October 27, 2012

It’s not everyday that you get to see a traveling museum from the Smithsonian Institute. But for six weeks during next September and October, Northwest Alabama will be home to the Smithsonian’s traveling exhibit on American industry and the workplace.

Having this exhibit, which will be called “The Way We Work,” come to Northwest Alabama is both an honor and an exciting opportunity.

The most obvious benefit from this exhibit coming to our area is the educational opportunity it will provide.

For our children in school, it is a unique opportunity to learn more about this country’s history and how we built the most powerful economy on Earth.

For those of us who are finished with school, it gives us an opportunity to learn more about our history or perhaps to see a part of American history that we might not have learned as much about when we were in school.

But the benefits of this exhibit go beyond the educational opportunities it brings.

An exhibit like this will bring visitors from across North Alabama and North Mississippi.

And when those visitors come, they will eat in our restaurants and shop in our stores. So the exhibit will also help boost our local economy.

But having this exhibit here is also an honor. This exhibit will only be showing in a limited number of towns and cities, so to have it come to Red Bay is an honor for our entire region.

Because this exhibit is exclusive, it took a team of us working at the federal, state and local levels to help bring it here, and I was honored to be a part of that team. Early on I met with Lee Sentell, the governor’s Director of Tourism and Tom Bryant from Alabama Humanities.

Together we worked with city leaders in Red Bay to help find a site for the exhibit and recruit a site coordinator.

And when we recruited Rosalyn Fabianke for the coordinator position, I knew that this project would be a success.

Now that we have successfully recruited the exhibit, local leaders are already hard at work planning supplemental programming and preparing an additional exhibit that will coincide with the Smithsonian exhibit and show how the local economy has also changed and developed over the past century.

This exhibit is a big win for Northwest Alabama. While it is an honor to have such an exclusive exhibit in our area, it is also a rare opportunity to learn more about American history and how our economy and the workplace have developed.

People from around the region and neighboring states will come to see this exhibit, and that will be a boost to our local economy.

We are going to benefit a great deal from this exhibit, and that is why I worked so hard for so long with our local, state and federal leaders to help bring it here.

I hope that everyone in Northwest Alabama and Northeast Mississippi will come see this exhibit next fall. It is a rare opportunity you don’t want to miss out on!

 

Johnny Mack Morrow is a state representative for Franklin County. 

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